Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:08 pm

MissJackpots wrote:All I'm trying to say is that it is a bit much. Take actresses like Cate Blanchett. Pure class. She has never needed to "sex it up".


That's a pretty extreme example. Yes, I agree -- Blanchett, one of the top 5 most skilled actresses currently working in Hollywood (she played the most convincing Bob Dylan I've ever seen!), can get by solely on talent without compromising herself. But that's a rare exception. Film is a business driven by sex appeal. It's true for men too -- there's no way Chris Pratt would be on every cover on the magazine rack if he hadn't ditched the beer belly for a six-pack -- but it's unfortunately doubly a fact for women. Anyway, Bell isn't even really an actor, she's a musician, and I think the need to play up sex appeal for women is even more prevalent in that industry. It's tough to think of many successful post-MTV-era female performers who haven't incorporated sex appeal into their performances in one way or another (often in a subversive or ironic way). I guess Adele is one example of someone who's achieved huge success based solely on talent.

And let's face it: our beloved DKL (one of my favorite living artists) isn't helping things much in this regard. As AgentEcho noted, DKL made many of the choices here, certainly regarding the way Bell is shot through the "male gaze." While DKL has written/directed some of the most impressively three-dimensional female roles of the last 30 years (Lula, Audrey, Diane/Betty, whoever the hell Laura Dern was playing in IE), he also has a long history of objectifying women in his films. In a case like Lula in W@H, or Dorothy in BV, this actually serves as a mechanism to explore the strength and vulnerability of the character. However, in other cases, it's needless and occasionally uncomfortable (when anyone asks me what role DKL's wife played in IE, I find it's easiest to answer, "The woman who flashes her breasts for absolutely no reason"...people invariably know exactly the scene I'm referencing). Not to rob Bell of her agency, but I question whether I'd second-guess DKL if he was adamant that I walk a certain way.

I'll also confess that, as a straight male, I enjoyed the "male gaze" shot of Bell...and then was immediately repulsed by Albert and Gordon's cartoonish stares. While I don't think it was DKL's intent, the hypocrisy of my dual reactions forces me to confront a part of myself I'm not super proud of. If the same is true of others, maybe some good came of that unfortunate moment!
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OrsonWelles
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby OrsonWelles » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:08 pm

That's right. It is as Lynch intended. I don't like the "woody" acting, the character is not that likable so far. I would have preferred it if she was played by Watts or Dern, and more of a strong agent. Hope things get better.
Skip Bittman
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby Skip Bittman » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:25 pm

Love the album and that EP, my main annoyance is that singing two tunes for the outros would've been a better choice but not too bothered by the sexpot over-enunciation on rewatches. Polish Poem is bliss and I'm willing to fight about it, shame there won't be something like it unless she jumps up on a table and starts singing after examining evidence.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby wxray » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:29 pm

Skip Bittman wrote:Love the album and that EP, my main annoyance is that singing two tunes for the outros would've been a better choice but not too bothered by the sexpot over-enunciation on rewatches. Polish Poem is bliss and I'm willing to fight about it, shame there won't be something like it unless she jumps up on a table and starts singing after examining evidence.

Cop Rock redux!

Gordon and Albert's gaze reminded me of the scene with the boys (including Coop) gazing on the Robyn Lively character.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby AgentEcho » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:46 pm

David Locke wrote:Maybe I'm going in with less built-in expectations because I've only read maybe 1/4th of TSHOTP. So I don't really have any presuppositions of who Preston's supposed to be, etc.


At least in my case, her depiction in the book doesn't have a whole lot to do with it. The swiveling hips walk, the odd eyebrow raise after Albert's Ronnie Rocket quote, the mopey stilted line deliveries, all those things would have fallen flat even if I hadn't read the book. The book just gives some prior context to compare it to.

FBI agents in the Twin Peaks world are important, and up til now they've had a string of really interesting characters. Cooper, Albert, Cole, Chet Desmond, Sam Stanley, Philip Jeffries... what might be coloring my initial impression more than the book is the fact that she's the first significant female character in the FBI troupe (I'm not counting Denise here for the sake of discussion),

However we've just scratched the surface with the character. They have established both in the show and in the book that she's "has the stuff" to be a good FBI agent, and I assume that isn't referring to her rack. We may just see that the stuff is yet, and hopefully that redeems her. It's just a bad start.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby sylvia_north » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:03 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
I'll also confess that, as a straight male, I enjoyed the "male gaze" shot of Bell...and then was immediately repulsed by Albert and Gordon's cartoonish stares. While I don't think it was DKL's intent, the hypocrisy of my dual reactions forces me to confront a part of myself I'm not super proud of. If the same is true of others, maybe some good came of that unfortunate moment!


This. More and more, I have no patience for objectification and I'd never blame the woman, even Miley is a product of socialization. Was DKL trying to show us that this is what it's like for a woman in the FBI? I hope he wanted us the sympathize and not join in the leering. Even Denise was reducing Tammy to her appearance. I think that's what's bothering me, personally, that we need a female character that's reduced to a cliche. Audiobook Tammy had- was!- a voice, that's valuable stuff.

The first two guys I talked to about the show said some gross things about her body, and I'm like, could you not? Especially to me? If Ben can learn R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Lynch has another female child to raise in your (Flesh)world, for the love of BOB.

That said, Audrey was a teenager and Sherilyn appeared in Playboy and everyone got to peep at the schoolgirl, so maybe things haven't gotten worse, I've just gotten grumpier about the reality of it.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby Gabriel » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:48 pm

She's all right; her acting is no worse than Chris Isaak's was in FWWM. Her singing voice is ok too. She's actually better live than on CD. No worries about 'the walk' either. I like watching good-looking people in movies and TV shows. Chrysta Bell's very attractive and I'd rather look at her than someone ugly! Shallow? Perhaps! Honest? Definitely!! ;)
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby Rami Airola » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:48 pm

Gabriel wrote:She's all right; her acting is no worse than Chris Isaak's was in FWWM.


This is actually quite good comparison.



Personally, I have nothing against her performance in the show.
And actually I really REALLY liked to see the surprise of Tamara Preston being someone completely different than anyone thought.
I also loved to see Naomi Watts as Dougies wife. That was another surprise casting. No-one thought Naomi would be a character like that. Everyone expected her to be someone like Diane or Tamara.

For me the fact that I know Tamara from the book and she is played by a complete left-field pick just makes me more excited about her.

And as for her being sexy and people oogling at her, I don't know what else to say than that's how life is. Some people are like that. Some people have this certain sexual energy that normal, even nice, people tend to look at. It's not their fault they are like that. You can blame the men for looking at that and enjoying what they see, but I don't think that in itself is a bad thing. It is fine to notice beauty and sexiness. There's nothing bad in it. What you do with it is what counts. The gaze doesn't yet objectify anyone. The gaze is just a gaze. It's a person seeing something that looks nice to him/her. And it's not bad to say to someone what you saw is beautiful or sexy. Now, if you judge the person's character based on what you think about his or her looks, then it becomes bad. And I don't think Tamara has been, at least yet, been put under that sort of pressure.


To many, it seems that if a woman acts not that well but looks good, it's automatically a negative thing and all about exploitation. Would it somehow be better if an actress was bad and she would also not be portrayed as sexy or beautiful? Is it more ok to be a bad actress if the character is not supposed to be sexy or beautiful? Would a sexy or beautiful character be more ok if the actress was amazingly talented?
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby counterpaul » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:08 pm

I'm withholding judgement on both the character and the performance--we just haven't seen enough in my mind. Bell has been fine in what, so far, has been a role that hasn't asked too much of her. We shall see. I am kind of shocked by the vitriol here, though. Did she kill someone's puppy and I never heard about it?

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I'll also confess that, as a straight male, I enjoyed the "male gaze" shot of Bell...and then was immediately repulsed by Albert and Gordon's cartoonish stares. While I don't think it was DKL's intent, the hypocrisy of my dual reactions forces me to confront a part of myself I'm not super proud of. If the same is true of others, maybe some good came of that unfortunate moment!


See, I actually do think this was intentional on DKL's part. Honestly, I don't know how else to read that moment, especially with the build-up to it in the Denise scene. It's exactly the kind of discomfort Lynch likes to explore, and he does not spare himself. Yes, he likes to enjoy looking at beautiful young women, but he's also totally aware of how repulsive and cartoonish that behavior can be (hell, half of INLAND EMPIRE is specifically about the toxic impact this kind of crap can have on women). Explicitly giving Cole, whom he plays, this characteristic, and devoting a good chunk of a scene to letting him 100% be called out (obviously, Denise is the character with the moral high ground in that scene) is pretty gutsy. Lynch doesn't let himself off the hook.

I imagine that Tammy does, in fact, have "the stuff" as an agent and we'll see it. I hope Bell is up to the task. Lynch has a long history of pulling truthful performances out of fairly mediocre actors, so I'm optimistic.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby mtsi » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:26 pm

I'm watching Twin Peaks because I love this world of David Lynch. If I want to watch acting, especially extraordinary acting, I will turn on Billions right after....which I do.

Thst said, Bell is atrocious.

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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby BigEd » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:27 pm

This is a silly thread. The directors cast an actor into a role and the actor performed it as intended. If anybody got "called out," it is some members of the viewing audience that are just way too thin skinned.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby mtsi » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:48 pm

She's atrocious.

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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby LateReg » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:49 pm

counterpaul wrote:I'm withholding judgement on both the character and the performance--we just haven't seen enough in my mind. Bell has been fine in what, so far, has been a role that hasn't asked too much of her. We shall see. I am kind of shocked by the vitriol here, though. Did she kill someone's puppy and I never heard about it?

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I'll also confess that, as a straight male, I enjoyed the "male gaze" shot of Bell...and then was immediately repulsed by Albert and Gordon's cartoonish stares. While I don't think it was DKL's intent, the hypocrisy of my dual reactions forces me to confront a part of myself I'm not super proud of. If the same is true of others, maybe some good came of that unfortunate moment!


See, I actually do think this was intentional on DKL's part. Honestly, I don't know how else to read that moment, especially with the build-up to it in the Denise scene. It's exactly the kind of discomfort Lynch likes to explore, and he does not spare himself. Yes, he likes to enjoy looking at beautiful young women, but he's also totally aware of how repulsive and cartoonish that behavior can be (hell, half of INLAND EMPIRE is specifically about the toxic impact this kind of crap can have on women). Explicitly giving Cole, whom he plays, this characteristic, and devoting a good chunk of a scene to letting him 100% be called out (obviously, Denise is the character with the moral high ground in that scene) is pretty gutsy. Lynch doesn't let himself off the hook.

I imagine that Tammy does, in fact, have "the stuff" as an agent and we'll see it. I hope Bell is up to the task. Lynch has a long history of pulling truthful performances out of fairly mediocre actors, so I'm optimistic.


This, no doubt about it. Lynch has known her for years; he cast her based on what he knows of her, including her sex appeal and way of speaking. He knew what he was getting and moreover, wanted it that way. And yes, it's a reality that men look at women that way, just as it is a reality that she is a beautiful woman worth looking at. And Lynch has called attention to her beauty in two scenes now, first with Denise, then with Albert; I felt no disgust at Lynch for Albert's reaction to her walking away because it seemed as though Lynch wanted us to question Albert's unprofessional reaction as well as admire Bell's beauty, which I don't see anything wrong with doing. It seems to me that is because he is calling attention to the way that such a beauty would be perceived in the FBI or any position of authority, surrounded by males questioning whether she has the stuff, based on her looks. At the same time, since he is the director who is engaging in these conversations, he's also calling attention to the nature of cinema, which is obsessed with the casting of beautiful people, and therefore the nature of his own films as well.

I also think the scene with his wife exposing her breasts in INLAND EMPIRE is also about the very same thing. It's not objectification; it's about objectification. Those battered women sitting there sharing horror stories about men, thinking that their tits are the only thing they've got going for them.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby dugpa » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:03 pm

I think she's fine. The series isn't even over yet. Reserve judgement until after the entire series is over. No need to continue the back and forth nonsense.

Just a reminder, no trolling or provoking other members.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell - Horrible Acting (Spoilers)

Postby Wonderful & Strange » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:38 pm

I find the thread title to feel like trolling. Why can't this just be a thread to discuss Preston/Bell? Why do we need the horrible subjective judgement "horrible acting" in it?
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